Noa Edgard Arceneaux, Lauren Fensterstock, Colter Jacobsen,
Nick McPhail, Ariana Papademetropoulos
Curated by Luisa Aguilar Solis and Georgia Horn
July 17 - August 15, 2014
Curators Luisa Aguilar Solis and Georgia Horn, in conjunction with Fridman Gallery, are pleased to present Recurrence, a group exhibition featuring works by Edgar Arceneaux, Lauren Fensterstock, Nick McPhail, Colter Jacobsen and Ariana Papademetropoulos. Opening July 17th, 2014, Recurrence will examine issues of obsolescence, industrial decay, environment and cultural discard through the lens of Italo Calvino’s Daughters of the Moon. In this text, which was first published in 1968, Calvino anticipates with chilling accuracy the conditions of our contemporary reality, here in 2014. He writes: "In this world where every object was thrown away at the slightest sign of breakage or aging, at the first dent or stain, and replaced with a new and perfect substitute, there was just one false note, one shadow: the moon. It wandered through the sky naked, corroded, and gray, more and more alien to the world down here, a hangover from a way of being that was now outdated." The narrative subsequently unfolds through Calvino’s imagined destruction and subsequent resurrection of the moon, critically examining the results of a society driven by the compulsive embrace of consumption, and the inevitable condition of obsolescence this establishes.
The exhibition focuses on a small group of aesthetically diverse artists whose work unfolds as an expression of our relationship to our physical environment, describing its decay as cyclical, rather than linear. The moon itself, an object of extraordinary symbolic significance, both ancient and contemporary — as well as one with an immense impact on our terrestrial environment — encourages an earnest engagement with concerns of obsolescence, and the tensions between past and present, light and dark. Within the compulsion for the new, we can also locate the nostalgia for the old: each of these artists exists somewhere in the liminal space between the two, referencing the past but existing in the present.
Arceneaux’s Detroit Steel series stages an investigation of the relationship between the ideal forms of Michael Heizer’s geometric monoliths, City Complex and Dragged Mass, and the allegorical meanings they adopt in spite of Heizer's intentions to avoid the cultural politics of the society within which they operate. Fensterstock’s black floral lined cubes likewise make reference to the art of the 1960s and 70s: one cannot help but see the influence of Tony Smith in her forms. But behind the minimalist exterior lies a verdant floral landscape whose seductive formal opulence provides stark contrast to their container. The darkened leaves, along with the plexi-glass casing, remind us of the construction of the object, even as we find ourselves lost in its biomorphic intricacies. In Papademetropoulos’ Ancestor, the artist overlays an image from a book on 1970s interior design with a soft and expansive water mark, indexing a deliberate destruction of this haunting, consumer laden space. McPhail’s work is composed of patterns, layers of visual recurrences and resonances, both to referents internal and external. His pieces speak to the natural and the artificial, highlighting, through their juxtaposition, the apparent proximity and yet infinite distance between the two. Jacobsen who will create a site-specific piece staged around the gallery windows, focuses his work on visual recurrence and has a strong interest in the construction of meaning through perceived associations, an impulse he relates to copying. “Even memory,” he says, “is the beginning of doubling, in a sense.”
When Calvino wrote Daughters of the Moon, he enumerated a certain disposition of the human condition, that is the desperation for the new and the quick disregard for the old. Although he could not have known the exact direction technology would move at the time, the story remains nonetheless relevant because of the patterns of behavior it identifies and describes. This show underlines the presence of the past and its place in defining our relationship to the future. It is about deterioration, regeneration, and of course, the waxing and waning moon.
Edgard Arcenaux: A Four Dimensional City Casts a Two Thousand Mile Shadow.
Courtesy of Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects
Photo credit: Robert Wedemeye
NIck McPhail: Untitled, 2014, 16 x 20" oil, acrylic, cardboard on canvas
Ariana Papademetropoulos: Ancestor, 5' x7', 2014
Catalog, with essays by Luisa Aguilar Solis and Georgia Horn